Due to its proximity to Attica, Kea (also called “Tzia”) is an easily accessible beauty with a scenery variety: steep mountains, small fields, olive groves, vineyards, valleys, picturesque coves, exciting hiking trails and off-the-beaten-track beaches. On the island with the largest oak forest in the Cyclades bird-watching is a real delight. For those who are into geology, there are plenty of small caves (like in Kalamos and in Ayios Timotheos). 36 km long cobbled trails will lead you to the four city-states of the ancient times: Ioulis, Karthaia, Koressia, Poiessa).
Τhe capital of Kea (or Tzia), Ioulis, located in the centre of the island, at the site of the ancient city-state by the same name, is a very picturesque town with ceramic-tile roofed houses, cobbled streets, arched passages, steps and squares.
Visit the exhibits evidencing prehistoric human life in the Neolithic settlement of Kefala (3,300-3,200 BC) and in the early Cycladic settlement of Agia Irene. The monastery of Panagia Kastriani (18th century) to the northeast is built on precipitous rocks, and offers an imposing panoramic view.
Kea is one of the most visited islands for the aficionados of sailing, due to its proximity to the Attica land. The area between Cape Sounio, Kea and Makronissos (means “Long Island” in Greek) is named Cavo Doro (Kafireas during the ancient times). Due to different steams and winds blowing from several directions it is considered to be one of the most difficult passages in the Mediterranean Sea. Actually, the meaning of Cavo Doro is not “Cape Gold” but a paraphrase of Cavo Duro, which mean Hard Cape.
In the area of Cavo Doro there are also many more or less ancient shipwrecks. It is believed that the Greek ships were wrecked here on the way back from Troy. As technology has advanced, the passage is now safer and became a challenge for people who enjoy sailing; in a way, passing by Cavo Doro is considered to be an extra badge of skill for sailors.